Post-Surgical Treatment of Lymphedema Offered by Breast Surgeons in Baltimore

Mercy Breast Center

Mercy’s breast surgeons work closely with the therapists of Mercy’s Center for Restorative Therapies to proactively treat lymphedema, or the swelling of the arm, hand, back or chest due to a backup of lymph fluid, in breast cancer patients. Our providers use innovative technologies to aid in the early detection and monitoring of lymphedema/fluid changes following breast cancer surgery. 

What is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema is swelling (caused by a backup of lymph fluid) that can occur in the arm, hand, back or chest on the side of your body where the breast cancer surgery was performed. Lymphedema occurs due to the removal of lymph nodes or damage from radiation therapy.

Lymphedema can appear immediately after breast cancer surgery or not until months or years after treatment has been completed. It causes pain and limited motion, both of which can be improved by working with a trained physical therapist.

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How does Mercy’s team of specialists treat Lymphedema following breast cancer surgery?

The clinical team of The Hoffberger Breast Center, along with the therapists of The Center for Restorative Therapies, work in concert to minimize post-surgical complications including pain, cording and limitation of arm mobility.

The physical therapists of The Center for Restorative Therapies at Mercy are highly trained in treating lymphedema and work with breast cancer patients on an individual basis to relieve symptoms of lymphedema.

Mercy's team takes a proactive approach to lymphedema with its early intervention program. With a focus on maintaining or improving a patient's quality of life, the early intervention program is based on national standards set forth by the National Lymphedema Network. Treatment begins before surgery with patient education and the acquisition of baseline measurements as a reference point for post-surgical mobility.

Following surgery, an individualized treatment plan is put into place for patients. For those patients who have more severe, chronic cases of lymphedema, The Center for Restorative Therapies offers an intensive treatment program, including specialized massage techniques, compression bandaging, lymphatic exercise and comprehensive self-care education.

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